The Hag week 2

A busy weekend refining and making the mechanism for The Hag. I've always had problems getting accurate gearing so opted for brass rods for teeth set in thick ply. The thick ply allows for deep holes to be drilled with a pillar drill giving accurate  and firm setting for the rods. You can see from the video how the mechanism turns the wheel in the cauldron to make her stir the pot. The other arm and head are operated from an offset cam via cord. I've added a lever as well which will make a cat lick her paw (hopefully). This is just a crude card shape at present to give an idea.

The next stage is to finish the sculpting and cloathing of the hag and find/make a better cauldron.
I think I will add lots of bits to the mechanism box and base to suggest cobwebs, roots etc.

The Hag

I've been meaning to make a witch figure for some time and suddenly had a burst of inspiration so made a pair of heavy Granny Weatherwax boots out of sculpey. I often start with feet when trying to capture a character, I don't know why but it works. Having a starting point I decided that it would be fun to make her as an automata. Initially I wanted her to be stirring a big cauldron because this a nice simple motion to make but as she has developed she has aquired other movements.

So far I've roughed up a basic shape and simple movement (not yet operated by one mechanism so in the video I'm moving the bits by hand)

The stirring mechanism is a simple rotating wheel and the hands are moved by the brass rod (which will become the spoon), arm joints are just string which seems to give a nice loose movement.
I may end up with her stirring one hand and have the other waving over the cauldron if I can figure out a mechanism.
The head just nods up and down and this will eventually be linked to the same mechanism as the cauldron.

Here are a few close ups

The basic sculpey head with blind eyes, this needs to be baked and be bulked out top and back.

 With a shawl.

The basic armature worked out, you can see the wheel and brass rod that will become the cauldron and spoon as well as the wire at the back of the body to move the head.

The armature with some bits of fabric to give  feel of how she will ook when clothed: lots of tatty wrags and shawls I think.

Bits and pieces and a load of junk

Firstly the finished girocopter, which has been done for some time with photos on facebook but not on the blog.
This summer has found me in the creative doldrums. I've made stuff but nothing has really sparked for me and pieces have been slow to come to fruition. Normally when I lack inspiration I make a head or fiddle with something and ideas quickly flow. Here are two of these:

Firstly a weird mechanical device for the back of an old man. I've no idea what it does or will become but you can see how it started.
I've been trying to make my mechanical stuff have a more interesting surface texture and look more authentically mechanical. I do this by using lots of found junk and joining the bits with various thickness of brass rod, which doubles as pipes. I often just gather bits together and try mixing them up.

The only made bit here is the barrel which is card wrapped around two plastic circles. Drilled wooden balls are great for fixing things to. The brass rod here was bent to give an interesting pipe effect and brass beads added. As always vials of fairy liquid give colour.
I have no idea what this is supposed to be, the tube here into the mans hand is just a  trial, he may have other bits added.
I want him to look loaded down like some kind of tinker or hudy gurdy man.

I've also been working on a dwarf like figure, a bit of a rehash of earlier ideas, again not sure of the end product, possibly a kind of mechanic or prospector.

I like the idea of a big bushy beard under a helmet or cap and  a short squat body. I'm using two newish techniques here, firstly filling the goggles with modellers water which sets clear and making the hands from plastic tube over a wire armature with split pins slotted in the ends. They look smoother, chunkier and cleaner than just wrapping the wire in tape, which I do for smaller hands.

The head needs a lot of work yet as I've just set the bottles in a polystyrene ball onto which I will sculpt in clay, but you get an idea of body proportion.